Charity looks to raise education standards among boys

A local children’s charity working to improve the level of education among boys believes the key is ensuring young people have a suitable role model when they’re growing up.

Ormiston Children and Families Trust, which runs the Sure Start children’s centres in March and Chatteris, is using its Raising Boys parenting course to bridge the gender gap in academic achievement.

According to Marc James, Ormiston’s senior practitioner who delivers the course, it’s important that parents try and get their sons motivated about education.

He said: “Boys are falling behind academically and are taking longer to settle into school life - we are trying to reverse this pattern. Raising Boys is a four-week course where we look at strategies that parents and carers can use to get their sons motivated about learning. Having a role model is key to achieving that.

“The course is mainly aimed at single mothers with boys between 0 and 11, and it’s designed to give them a bit more confidence in bringing up their son by looking at what types of discipline and boundaries work particularly well with boys, because their behaviour is slightly different from girls.

“Some young boys might not have a male role model in their life, but it’s important to expose them to one because it’s someone that they can look up to and aspire to be like.

“As well as looking at the importance of role models, Raising Boys also focuses on boys’ behaviour in certain environments. Obviously school is one of the major environments where children need to sit and learn, so we talk about what can be done to get boys to engage and settle into school more quickly.”

Marc also focuses on the importance of role models and academic achievement in his Parent Coaching for Dads course, which is specifically aimed at fathers. This four-week group looks at how mums and dads parent differently and identifies the positive contributions fathers can bring to their child’s upbringing as a role model and in terms of education, discipline and boundaries.

The next Raising Boys course starts on April 26 at Chatteris Children’s Centre and runs from 12.30pm to 2.30pm. The next Parent Coaching for Dads course begins on May 13, also at Chatteris, and runs from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Booking for both is essential.

Marc also runs a Men’s Group at Chatteris Children’s Centre on the second Saturday of every month from 10am to noon, for all dads, granddads, uncles and male carers with children under 10, which are full of fun, themed activities.

For more information or to book a place on the upcoming Raising Boys or Parent Coaching for Dads, please contact the children’s centre on 01354-697739 or email